Soldier's remains from Korean War arrive at O'Hare

March 21, 2012 3:26:48 PM PDT
Army Corporal Chester Roper had been missing in action and a prisoner of war for more than 60 years. On Wednesday, his remains were finally returned to his family.

A coffin carrying Roper's remains arrived at O'Hare Airport Wednesday morning.

Roper was a native of Pittsburg. He was captured in 1950 by enemy forces during the Korean War. Roper was reported missing in action and died in 1951 at a prison war camp.

In 2011, Roper's remains were exhumed, re-examined and properly identified for burial.

On Wednesday, members of Roper's family who live in the Chicago area, along with dozens of Warrior Watch riders, escorted Roper's remains to a funeral home.

"It's good for them. It's good for the family. And of course we are so proud to be asked to be a part of this," said Wally Baxendale, Korean War veteran.

"My family is ecstatic right now. We are happy to have all of the warriors out today, and just showing so much love. I mean this is awesome. It makes me proud to be an American," said Kelvin Mitcham, Roper's great nephew.

Corporal Roper will be laid to rest on Friday in Evergreen Park.

Roper's remains arrived as the Pentagon announced it was suspending efforts to recover troop remains in North Korea.